Posts Tagged ‘Wolfgang Puck’

We woke to learn that the snow had left over a foot of fresh powder on the mountain (nearby Sugarbowl had had 32 inches overnight!), and that today would see a brief respite in the relentless wave of storm systems hitting the west of the country during March.

Although it was snowing and visibility was poor when we set out, leaving both the lake and mountain invisible, breaks in the clouds brought a surprising and prolonged spell of sunshine from late morning onwards. Occasional “wind holds” aside on lifts on the upper levels of the mountain, the majority of the ski terrain remained open, including the all-important gondola in the middle of the village.  The fresh, dry, soft snow which had fallen on the groomed surface meant that appreciable bumps developed on all trails as skiers and riders turned over it.  The term “powder day” was rarely more relevant in our experience.

That said, the day’s skiing was hardly uneventful.  Firstly, Janet contrived to fall twice whilst standing still  – that’s now three nil to me!  But I didn’t exactly cover myself with glory either.  Returning from the Nevada side of the mountain at 1pm we resolved to head down the run that led directly into the new Tamarack mountain restaurant for lunch.

However, if you miss the left fork leading to the restaurant, and the gondola alongside it, you find yourself hurtling towards the farther California side of the mountain, with no way back other than by negotiating a time-consuming and frustrating return via a series of long trails and lifts, taking you back into Nevada – and that’s if the latter are operational (which, at the time I needed them, was the case).    

And that is what this idiot did, leaving Janet waiting outside the restaurant wondering where I had disappeared to.  As I had perpetrated the same felony only last year, she soon worked out what had happened to me, and had the good sense to wait there whilst I reacquainted myself with most of the mountain before being reunited with her over an hour and a half later.  My legs had started to tire BEFORE I embarked upon the additional marathon journey, so I was mighty relieved to see her waving to me at the bottom of the run!

But that wasn’t the only indignity I suffered – staggering back to the gondola for the ride back to the village my saloppettes (ski pants to the unitiated) fell down, revealing the three layers (thermals, tights and underpants) beneath.  Fortunately, Janet may have been the only witness, and it certainly raised her spirits after the long, frustrating vigil at the restaurant.  At least it proved that I had lost weight from last year!

Lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s cafe in the village was highly welcome =- and very late, thanks to this author.  After the customary late afternoon siesta, we roamed the casino and village shops before having dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe in Harvey’s casino.  Good food, great music, delicious margaritas and  friendly service – it is not difficult to see how it long outlasted Planet Hollywood.

I’ll finish with a tip for those wanting to have fun and win each time they hit the casinos – play the penny slots!  Ok, it’ll take a few thousand years for you to become a millionaire, but you’re just about guaranteed to win every time.  Janet and I only discovered them at the Bellagio in Vegas last year when they paid for several rounds of drinks at the bar.  Tonight we walked away with $70 from a $30 stake – that’s 233% profit, pretty good odds huh?

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I realise that yesterday’s blog was rather lengthy, so resolve to keep day 3 short and sweet.

After coffee and bagels in Starbuck’s in Harrah’s we set off to collect our valeted skis and poles.  The first half hour was taken up climbing into our boots – why is it that with all the advances in ski technology in the past twenty years that getting into – and out of – boots is as strenuous and stressful as it was when we first took up the sport in 1987?

The weather was cold and overcast, and strong winds at the upper levels of the mountain meant that the lifts and runs available were very limited.  We were compelled to take an overcrowded shuttle bus – along with a cacophanous bunch of brash Texans on their spring break – to the Stagecoach lodge in Nevada, which we reached shortly after 10am. The skiing was confined to just a handful of runs, though it was enjoyable nonetheless.  The highlight was Janet’s spectacular back flip from a standing position as she was about to push off on the Olympic Downhill.  One nil to me! 

With a heavy storm approaching in mid afternoon we finished skiing around 1pm and had lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s cafe in the village – even though it’s a fast food outlet that man still puts out great food! My four cheese pesto pizza matched the cajun shrimp pasta from the night before.

The snow set in as forceast around 3pm, and had covered the road at lake level within an hour.  It did not stop for the remainder of the day, dumping well over a foot on the mountain overnight.  Seeking escape in our room I wrote yesterday’s blog and watched a great profile of the Giants’ 2010 postseason heroics whilst Janet braved the hotel’s swimming pool.

We trudged through the roadside snow to Cecil’s Steak and Brew for their excellent Jack Daniel’s drenched half chicken before returning to the hotel for drinks and a modestly successful i.e. breaking even session on the penny slots.  We went to sleep wondering whether the incessant snowfall would jeopardise tomorrow’s skiing plans.

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